Chery ripe for growth
With Korean cars going upmarket, Chinese cheapies are on the way
another six contenders and believes they are negotiating with local importers.
‘‘ The Chinese embassy has contacted us about finding local partners for six car companies,’’ a source at the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries reveals to Carsguide.
‘‘ We are trying to help. They seem pretty keen.’’
The importer with the strongest Chinese ties, Ateco Automotive, already has Chery and Great Wall on its books. Company chief Neville Crichton admits he is looking to spread his influence.
Ateco has recently lost the local agency for Alfa Romeo and Fiat, which were reclaimed by their owners at Fiat Chrysler Group. Ateco has previously imported Suzuki and Kia but the respective head offices now handle the distribution.
Crichton will not discuss his targets but a team from Ateco was among Australian groups in China recently for the Beijing motor show.
There are seven Great Wall models in Australia but none are passenger cars (for now at least) while Chery has three. The J11 SUV sells best with 374 deliveries to the end of May.
The Geely importer, John Hughes in Perth, is regrouping before a stronger push with a bigger range of the company’s latest models in 2013.
Two other brands, JAC and Maxus, are being handled by the import company WMC, which began with Higer buses.
JAC is beginning its Australian push with small trucks, planning to follow with vans and a ute in 2013, with passenger cars most likely in late 2014. Maxus, which is part of the giant Shanghai Automotive group that includes MG, is starting with vans but has perhaps the greatest potential of all once it commits to a local program with its Chinese cars.
Blossoming: There is likely to be an influx of Chery hatches in showrooms in Australia